ABC's remake of "Dirty Dancing" is finally starting to take shape. The network has yet to announce an airdate for the mysterious three-hour made-for-TV musical, which stars Abigail Breslin in the Jennifer Grey-originated role of Frances "Baby" Houseman, but one thing is becoming crystal clear: This won't be your mama's "Dirty Dancing."
"This 'Dirty Dancing' is not the Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze 'Dirty Dancing,'" Sarah Hyland, who's set to portray Baby's older sister Lisa in the upcoming reboot, told Wonderwall.com while promoting her Netflix original film "XOXO."
"Nothing will ever be that, and we're not trying to be that," she continued, qualifying that "it's also not the [2004 stage] musical."
"It's this completely reimagined take on 'Dirty Dancing,'" explained the "Modern Family" star, who called the original 1987 film "obviously one of my favorites."
Says Sarah, "There are new characters. There are character storylines that you have never really gone in-depth with before. There are some little changes. But the Baby-Johnny-Penny storyline is exactly the same."
"We would never stray from that -- ever," she adds. "That's too iconic."
One aspect of "Dirty Dancing" that will get a major overhaul is Lisa's storyline.
"You don't really get to see her that much in the original, and she's very much a Haley Dunphy, so to speak," says the 25-year-old actress, comparing the character to her "Modern Family" alter ego.
"You've never seen Lisa Houseman like this before," she continues. "She goes through so much, and she has this beautiful arc in this film -- just as beautiful as Baby's. It's really poignant. There are a lot of controversial things that happen to Lisa."
Adds Sarah, "I think people are really going to enjoy it -- or hopefully will at least respect it."
As for the film's beloved music, expect to hear favorites from the original interspersed with new additions.
"The music is great," says Sarah. "It's like the classic soundtrack from the original, so you have things like 'Love Is Strange,' '(I've Had) The Time of My Life' and things like that that you remember form the original film. It's just the character singing it now."
But don't hold your breath for Sarah to "Hula Hana" in the upcoming remake.
"I think people will be sad that that's not in there -- that's an iconic character moment for Lisa with the luau thing," says the starlet. "In this, Lisa will be singing a Bob Dylan song. She sings a duet with another character. I play the ukulele -- so I had to learn how to play the ukulele -- and he plays the guitar. It's at the talent show, so it's similar. She performs at the talent show, but it's this really beautiful moment where you see Lisa's character and where she ends up and how much she's changed since the beginning -- for the better."
The ukulele isn't the only instrument Sarah has attempted to master this year. She also picked up the guitar after her boyfriend, "Shadowhunters" star Dominic Sherwood, gifted her one for her birthday in November 2015. Sadly, her ambitions have been thwarted by two obstacles: "Modern Family" and her rescue puppy, Boo.
"It's not going anymore," she told us. "I have Haley nails now, so I can't [pluck] the strings at all... I was getting okay. I also stopped practicing. Puppy Boo is just getting so big. Whenever I try to play, she just paws it. I should continue practicing."
The musically inclined actress will certainly need to get back into practice if she ever plans to release music of her own -- as her fans have demanded for years now.
"I write my own music, but I don't write it on instruments," explains Sarah. "So I don't know. I'm not gonna say no to [releasing my own music] like I used to when I was younger. I was very adamant that I was never going to do anything like that. But I feel like I have a lot to say. I just don't know when I want to say it."
"Right now I'm really focusing on acting," she concluded. "Acting will always be first and foremost to me."
Considering her dance card currently includes "Dirty Dancing," "XOXO" and the upcoming eighth season of "Modern Family," she's clearly speaking the truth!
Relive the original Lisa Houseman's iconic "Hula Hana" performance from the original "Dirty Dancing" in the video below.
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